Zungeru dam: Displaced indigenes sue FG, demand N1.115trn compensation 



Five communities represented by 2, 844 original indigenes from Samboro communities in Madaka district of Rafi local government area of Niger state have sued the federal government demanding N1, 115, 595, 288 as monetary compensation and general damages for the economic degradation and destruction of their environment by the construction of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Dam.

In the suit which has five ministers and the project manager of the construction firm handling the Zungeru dam as defendants,  the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration of the court that the construction of the dam has overtime led to destruction of their livelihood and forceful ejection from their ancestral homes.

They prayed the court for, “A declaration that it is the joint and several acts of the defendants in the construction of the Zungeru dam project leading to continuous flooding and emotional conditions of Samboro communities thereby forcefully ejecting the plaintiffs from their ancestral homes and subjecting them to immeasurable hardship and irreparable damages to their livelihood.”

The villagers also prayed the court to declare that being original inhabitants of Samboro communities in Rafi local government,  having suffered as a result of the acts of the defendants,  are entitled to monetary compensation for the destruction of their farmlands,  economic trees, houses and sabotage to their environment. 

The plaintiffs therefore prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servant agents and whosoever from trespass, further acts of trespass, effecting any acts, actions, conduct of any breach prejudicial and reprehensive to the plaintiffs. 

They are also seeking for an order of the court directing and compelling the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th defendants to within 48 hours of delivery of judgement,  pay to the plaintiffs ” the sum of one trillion, one hundred and fifteen billion, five hundred and ninety-five million,  forty seven thousand five hundred and eighty- eight naira as monetary compensation for destruction of their farmlands, houses, ponds, sabotage to their environment, economic welfare and survival and   total annihilation of their sources of livelihood.”

Also listed as defendants in the suit are Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Ministers of Power, Works, Environment and the Project Manager of the Chinese construction firm,  ZYNO, Mr AbiyGetahun.

However, only the Ministry of Justice as  one of the defendants was represented by a counsel in court when the matter was mentioned Thursday. This prompted the counsel to the plaintiffs, Mohammed Ndalani to ask for adjournment to enable other defendants to be represented. 

The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Mohammed adjourned the matter to June 13, 2023 for hearing.